Rome, December 7 – The new therapeutic strategy to combat Covid 19 could come from Italian research. A team of researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology (Iit), the Sant’Anna High School and the University of Milan recently published in the journal Pharmacological Research a study involving a very high-precision technique based on the Ace2 receptor, which is the “gateway” to human coronavirus cells. The researchers used technology to locate two strands of nucleic acids linked to the region. of the Ace2 receptor called K353 and which also interact with one of the molecular keys of the virus, preventing the latter from entering the cells and thus spreading. The mechanism looks good in the picture opposite.
The novelty is that, without relying on the spike protein, this technique is not affected by the mutations that characterize the various variants of Covid-19. “Thanks to this study, it will be possible to develop a new precision therapeutic approach to prevent serious infections, without boosting the immune system or significant side effects.” stated al Corriere della Sera one of the researchers, Angelo Retziani of Iit.
The next goal of the researchers is now to translate this new therapeutic approach into a treatment that effectively closes the door on SARS CoV 2. According to forecasts, the drug could be ready within two years. There are two goals that the research team aims to achieve in the following phases:The first is to find a composition that allows the drug to get to where it needs to work. Aptamers, once introduced into the bloodstream, are very unstable: therefore it is necessary to avoid their degradation“Retziani explains. “The second is to prove that this potential treatment is not toxic to humans.”.
It should be noted that aptamers are not immunogenic, ie they do not elicit an immune response, but it is not possible to predict in advance what reactions they may have in the human body. Hence the need to investigate the issue of security. In this regard, it will also be necessary to find resources, through adequate funding, to carry out the development and testing of the drug, as well as possibly production. “The hope” Reggiani states about “is to find a company or an individual who believes in the approach we have developed “.
A project that should not be insurmountable, in the light of the hypotheses of the study, which also involved researchers from Ingm, the National Institute of Molecular Genetics Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi of Milan, and which has already aroused great interest even outside the strictly scientific perimeter. “Three Italian scientists took an important step towards a drug capable of blocking any coronavirus“He writes on Twitter, for example Carlo Cotarelli, director of the Italian Public Accounts Observatory of the Catholic University and former commissioner for the review of expenditure. “Three scientists. Three medical specialists. No three online news readers using bleach to treat Covid found “.